New Community Partners!
Contact: Merrill Sikorski, (907) 262-4949
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CARING FOR THE KENAI MOVES TO CHALLENGER LEARNING CENTER…
Kenai, Alaska August 17, 2015– As the Caring for the Kenai (CFK) environmental awareness contest and community partnership begins its 26th year it will be transitioning as an educational program administered by the Kenai Watershed Forum to a program under the umbrella of the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska. “The CFK program has evolved into an educational curriculum that meets state and national standards for science and language arts. It is now available for licensing to any school district anywhere. To accommodate the need for a national 501(c)3 organization to administer the program, the Challenger Center of Alaska has stepped up to champion the competition,” explained CFK creator Merrill Sikorski. The local CFK will continue unchanged in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District with Tesoro continuing as the program’s signature sponsor.
“The community and industry support over the last quarter century for CFK has been truly amazing and is a model for the world. We can all be proud to have contributed to creating an educational partnership that can change the way we address environmental challenges,” said Sikorski.
“Caring for the Kenai has long been an excellent partner with KPBSD. The opportunities for students to develop rigorous and relevant projects that make a difference in our local communities demonstrates best educational practice that enriches what is happening in our classrooms. Our teachers have also benefited by developing creative activities and lessons that make their classrooms come alive in meaningful and thought provoking ways. Many of the skills our students will need in their future are fostered within this program. We look forward to many more years of partnering with Caring for the Kenai,” said KPBSD Superintendent Sean Dusek.
“We have seen great projects that are benefiting our environment and quality of life come out of the CFK program. The Kenai Watershed Forum will continue to support student driven ideas in our community and are happy to see the growth of the CFK program” said Robert Ruffner, KWF executive director.
“The Challenger Mission to inspire students in the science, technology, engineering and math disciplines while connecting with the relationships and applications to real world situations creates a seamless backdrop for a program such as Caring for Kenai that was designed to have students think of creative ideas to help their local environment and prepare for natural disasters. The opportunities available to our students through these two long standing, proven programs is an example of how partnerships can have a much greater impact by working together,” said Marnie Olcott, CEO Challenger Learning Center of Alaska.
“As a longtime sponsor of the CFK program, Tesoro is proud of the unique educational opportunities the program has provided to students across the Kenai Peninsula. The type of innovative thinking and sustainable programs that have grown out of this annual event reflect the commitment to safety and the environment valued by both Tesoro and the Kenai community.” said Kenai Refinery Manager Cameron Hunt.
To celebrate a quarter of a century of our kids ideas a joint Kenai & Soldotna chamber meeting will be held Wednesday, October 7th where a 25 years of CFK in review video will be presented.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2015
Contact: Marnie Olcott, CEO
Exxon Mobil Gives $25,000 to Build a Future of Strong STEM Students
Working together to build a future of innovative learning and provide viable career pathways for Alaskan students!
Kenai, Alaska- The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska (CLCA) announces the Exxon Mobil Corporation donated $25,000 to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) enrichment through critical thinking with Challenger’s unique teaching model using simulated space missions and other hands on exploration programs. “ExxonMobil has made science, technology, engineering and math a focal point of community contributions, and the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is a prime example of an educational resource for these important learning components” wrote Kimberly A. Jordan, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Alaska Public & Government Affairs Coordinator.
“ExxonMobil supports educational programs through financial support, partnership, and outreach in communities by our employees. We encourage the pursuit of math and science through a variety of programs to make a difference in the lives of children and Alaska’s future.” ExxonMobil Website. (n.d.) Retrieved from http://goo.gl/b9vgmC. Only with the support of organizations such as Exxon Mobil can CLCA interconnect with the emerging and existing workforce, keeping Alaskans competitive in a rapidly changing 21st century marketplace.
Challenger is in a unique position to be the leading resource in STEM education and survival training for Alaska’s diverse population and is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards for academic and training excellence.
Challenger is a private, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation in operation since April 2000 and have taught nearly 90,000 students. CLCA was created to meet the educational needs of students throughout Alaska. Using simulated space and earth science missions, distance delivery education and hands on workshops, CLCA generates excitement to continue developing interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to explore careers in these fields. The CSET division of CLCA provides survival training to enrich Alaska’s safety culture, increasing Alaska’s economic base and markets Kenai and Alaska as a cold-water survival training hub.